Jon Favreau directs Robert Downey Jr., Mickey Rourke and Sam Rockwell in this superhero sequel where the billionaire inventor tries to protect his flying armour from rivals in the weapons industry.
Marvel’s first clunker… not that the stellar box office recognised that. Starts out strong – introducing villains, random threads and Scarlett Johansson as franchise lynchpin, Black Widow. Then indulgently puts them all on the back burner for scenes where Tony Stark acts like an obnoxious dick… sorry… an even bigger obnoxious dick than usual. Rourke and Rockwell are fine value as bickering villains but the script relegates them to a factory for half the running time while offering up minimal peril in their place. The unfocused script pretty much follows the Schumacher template of having two colourful baddies teaming up rather than a plot. It all ends with CGI avatars of the heroes blowing up a parade of drones with minor risk to their own lives. It is very polished and quippy and Favreau is too studied a student of the blockbuster to ever let it get boring. But he pulls out all of the entire Spielberg / Cameron arsenal to conceal the sad fact there’s no story worth telling here.
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